Monday, April 27, 2009

WindCradle and how she got her name.

WindCradle is the name of the retreat center I'm starting on Lake Superior's north shore.

The rocky beach is almost always empty and wild. Sometimes the lake is so glassy smooth, you can't see the horizon. Other times, huge waves crash so far in, Lake Superior looks like an ocean in a big storm.

If you were standing on the beach looking out, there are points of land on either side, and they look to me like enormous arms that hold and rock. Windy and yet cradled.

That paradox--wind tearing at your hair and clothes and large arms cradling, holding safe--they speak to me of God and of the way we learn. In my years as a teacher, I could see that students needed the balance of challenge and support. Too much challenge, not enough support and it's too stressful to really learn. Too much support and not enough challenge and it's BORING.

As a retreat leader, canoe guide, writer, priest (as well as teacher) I am for that balance of support and challenge. And my hope is that WindCradle will be a place that allows people to find comfort as they grow, grow as they find comfort.


  1. Hi Mom, A good start, and I'm shocked at your computer savvyness.

  2. Incidentally this is steve haha.

  3. Hi Mary Ellen, I loved your first entry and now with pictures it's even better. It looks like an amazing spot for a retreat center. Maybe I'll even get a chance some day to come visit.
    Sara Bates
    (Esme's YaYa)

  4. What a wonderful blog, Mary Ellen! I do love New York but reading about hiking and seeing pictures of the lake make me want to come back in a terrible way. I'm hoping Steve and I can make a visit soon!